Here are the lineups:
Clemens RHP (1-0, 4.50)
Perez LHP (6-5, 3.21)
Pregame chatter: The Yankees are 7-9 against lefty starters, but 6-2 at home against them. … The Yankees lead the series against the Mets 33-24. … Another good outing for AA right-hander Alan Horne last night as he allowed one earned run in seven innings against Connecticut. He is 6-3 with a 2.50. Trenton has a heck of a rotation now with Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy joining Horne, Brett Smith and Jeff Marquez. … The Yankees, for reasons that escape me, will not announce what draft picks they have signed. There is such a disconnect with Tampa and New York at times.
What’s happening with the Mets? Keep an eye on the LoHud Mets blog.
UPDATE, 6:39 p.m.: Some breaking news here. Johnny Damon is out with an abdominal strain. Cabrera will bat first and Josh Phelps will DH and hit eighth. The Mets and Yankees are spending roughly $315 million this season and their lineups tonight include Julio Franco, Carlos Gomez, Jose Valentin, Miguel Cairo and Josh Phelps.
UPDATE, 6:45 p.m.: Here is a selection of Joe Torre’s pre-game meeting with the media this afternoon:
UPDATE, 7:00 p.m.: You take an elevator from the press room in the basement up to the loge level where the press box is. When it stopped at the lobby just now, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger got on. He’s 84 and looks pretty good. Nobody said anything to him. Then again, what are you supposed to say? “So, Bangladesh, you really messed that up.”
It reminded me of the 1996 Olympics when i got an elevator at the main stadium and Muhammad Ali got on. Everybody was just looking at him. Finally Ali said, “Don’t everybody talk at once.” Kissinger is no Ali, but a brush with celebrity is always interesting.
UPDATE, 8:00 p.m.: The Mets are being very aggressive against Clemens, stealing bases and putting down bunts. It’s what a team in a losing streak should be doing. Playing against the Yankees is probably the best thing for them in terms of getting some energy back.
As for the Yankees, Oliver Perez has put-away stuff as evidenced by his four strikeouts. But when he loses it, it tends to fall apart in a hurry. Clemens needs to keep them in it until then.
UPDATE, 8:11 p.m.: Clemens is going to get hit this year and he’s going to pitch around certain guys. But he’s very good at minimizing the damage with men on base. His ability to focus on the batter and get the out he needs is impressive. He never gives in when he has somebody on the hook, he repeats his delivery and hammers strikes. It’s the kind of thing every pitcher strives to do but it’s so difficult.
UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: This from the AP: When 48-year-old Julio Franco flied out against 44-year-old Roger Clemens ending the second, they became the oldest batter-pitcher matchup in the major leagues since Nick Altrock of the Washington Senators hit a comebacker off the Philadelphia Athletics’ Rube Walberg in the 11th inning on Oct. 1, 1933, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Altrock was 57 and hadn’t played since 1919. It was the final game of his major league career, and WashingtonÂ¹s final game of the regular season. Walberg was 37.
Clemens and Franco totaled 93 years, 246 days, while Altrock and Walberg added to 94 years, 80 days.
How cool is that?
UPDATE, 8:39 p.m.: I covered the Mets from 2002-05 for my paper and saw Jose Reyes when he came up. I loved his game then, even though some people at the time questioned his heart. He’s going to be an MVP someday and maybe someday soon. Once he got over his injury problems, he became one of the best players in the game. Reyes is certainly not Jeter yet, but he gets a little closer every year.
UPDATE, 9:00 p.m.: You’d sign up for 6 6 2 2 1 8 from Clemens every time. The Yankees have give him some support now.
UPDATE, 9:43 p.m.: You have to hand it to Oliver Perez, he pitched a great game. This could be their shot given who they have at the bottom of the order tonight.
UPDATE, 9:48 p.m.: Man, the Yankees have ripped some balls and gotten nothing for it. Abreu there, Matsui in the sixth, etc. If this were the ninth inning, I’d say A-Rod clocks one. But in the eighth inning? He certainly is due tonight.
UPDATE, 10:06 p.m.: That makes 17.1 consecutive scoreless innings for the Yankees’ bullpen. The pitching has been magnificent.
UPDATE, 10:09 p.m.: Lot of Mets fans making noise here now. Tough loss for the Yankees. Now they need the kid to pitch well against Glavine tomorrow if they want to take the series.
Back later with some audio.